(CNN) — The Venezuelan government Wednesday ordered cable providers to take CNN en Español off the air, days after CNN aired an investigation into the alleged fraudulent issuing of Venezuelan passports and visas.

The network “instigates religious, racial and political hatred,” violence and other themes, National Telecommunications Commission Director Andres Eloy Mendez said Thursday morning on state-run VTV.

The commission told cable companies to pull CNN en Español’s signal immediately. It called the action a preventative measure and did not say when CNN en Español would be back on cable systems.

Mendez told VTV that the decision is connected to “the constitutional and human guarantees of all citizens.” He read a statement in which he said CNN’s reports “defame and distort the truth” and “threaten the peace and democratic stability of our Venezuelan nation, as they generate a climate of intolerance.”

Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez accused CNN of performing what she defined as an “imperialistic media operation” against her country in last week’s broadcast of the yearlong investigation.

The opposition-controlled National Assembly condemned the commission’s decision as anti-democratic.

It “gravely affects the human right Venezuelans have to be informed,” the legislative body said in a statement.

CNN and CNN en Español’s investigation, “Passports in the Shadows,” uncovered serious irregularities in the issuing of Venezuelan passports and visas, including allegations that passports were given to people with ties to terrorism.

The story, which began airing last week on both networks, revealed a confidential intelligence document that links Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami to 173 Venezuelan passports and IDs issued to individuals from the Middle East, including people connected to the terrorist group Hezbollah.

The two-part report threatened “the peace and democratic stability of our Venezuelan people since they generate an environment of intolerance,” the government said.

El Aissami has not responded to multiple requests for comment over several months. Rodríguez said the investigation is “an absolute lie.”

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By Expat